Category Archives: ICE CREAM

KENTUCKY DERBY WALNUT AND CHOCOLATE PIE…FOR DERBY DAY AND BEYOND

1907996_284906375011003_4427021404753604595_nIn the city of Louisville, Kentucky on the first Saturday of May each year the horserace known as the KENTUCKY DERBY is held.  It’s pretty much become a national event but no where is it more celebrated than in Louisville.  I remember going there 3 days after the event a few years ago to visit clients and remember all the decorations and banners that were still up for the “RUN FOR THE ROSES”.  In true A FOOD OBSESSION style I came home with a few new food ideas and some local cookbooks.  I also made my way over to the BROWN HOTEL to have the American classic sandwich, the HOT BROWN, named for it’s location of birth.  A Hot Brown is a broiled open faced sliced Turkey breast sandwich on thick white bread with Mornay Sauce, Parmigiano, Tomato and Bacon.  It’s amazing.  That trip introduced me to another Louisville cuisine creation, the DEBRY PIE.  Let’s get something out of the way first.  Unless you buy one from Kern’s Kitchen, the business which invented it in 1950 by Walter and Leaudra Kern at their Melrose Inn , Prospect , Kentucky, you cannot call it DERBY PIE.  In 1968 they smartly trademarked the name and while there’s no crime in creating a pie that is similar, you can NEVER call it DERBY PIE. So there you go.  Instead call it anything you like, but since it’s part of Kentucky Derby food culture  I will call it KENTUCKY DERBY WALNUT AND CHOCOLATE PIE.  Whew. Now I’m safe.  The Kern’s have sued over 25 times to protect there trademarked name so remember, you don’t want to be the next victim.  LOL.  The pie is sort of a mashup of a southern Pecan pie with chocolate and a Toll House Pie, sort of.  The recipe I use came from the Washington Post:

SERVINGS: 6 – 8
INGREDIENTS
  • One 8- or 9-inch unbaked pie shell
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 cup walnuts, coarsely ground
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Fresh whipped cream for garnish(optional)
  • 2 tablespoons Kentucky Bourbon

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Have an 8 or 9-inch pie plate at hand.

Place the unbaked pie shell in the plate. Sprinkle the bottom of the pie shell evenly with chocolate chips.

Whisk together the eggs, 1 cup of sugar and flour in a mixing bowl. Gradually mix in the butter, then add the nuts and vanilla extract and bourbon. Carefully pour mixture over the chocolate chips, in a circular motion so it does not disturb the chips. Bake for 1 hour, until the filling is set.

Should be served warmed up…top with the Whipped Cream, over even better, which a good Vanilla Ice Cream….a drizzle of hot chocolate sauce, maybe whipped cream too, up to you.  It’s delicious..and it’s fantastic all on it’s own, it’s rich.  HAPPY KENTUCKY DERBY DAY!!!

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AFFOGATO,ITALY’S COFFEE AND ICE CREAM TREAT

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An amazingly flavored dessert/drink that comes from Italy is the perfect idea for your Summer entertaining (ok, not just Summer but i’m trying to play up the seasonal thing here).  It’s called AFFOGATO and it means DROWNED.  A scoop (s) of usually VANILLA GELATO is placed in a chilled glass, cup , or bowl and hot ESPRESSO is poured over it.  Let’s talk here for a moment.  I’m American so I will have to say, you can use a good creamy naturally flavored VANILLA ICE CREAM and a good strong BLACK COFFEE for this treat.  It’s way better though when you stick to the original and proper when possible and find (or make if you’re into that) Vanilla Gelato and make a pot of Espresso.  Now again, since I’m American I’m almost forced into telling you that you can top this with Amaretti Crumbs, Shaved Chocolate, I guess the sky is the limit.  I will also tell you that now you are making an Ice Cream Sundae of sorts and you’ve sucked the Italian soul completely out of the mix.  Americans LOVE having lots of varieties especially when it comes with toppings. Me, I’m more the purist and I prefer this as the Italians intended it to be made.  Lots of overkill “recipes” for this on the web.  Why complicate???

To  make this tasty treat…simply scoop Vanilla Gelato or Ice Cream into a chilled glass that can withstand heat, we want no accidents here..or into a bowl (safer),then for each scoop, 1 1/2 ounces of hot espresso over the top.  Serve…eat/drink enjoy.    This, along with a platter of cut Summer fruits and berries and some biscotti is a great way to end a Summer’s meal.

The picture is of an AFFOGATO I enjoyed for dessert at the OBICA’ MOZZARELLA BAR, Canary Wharf, London     ( I know, that’s not Italy, but so what,It’s Europe..LOL) in July 2014 on family vacation (or should I say Holiday since it was in London???).  Just to keep my authenticity badge, I have had this in Italy but there’s not corresponding picture.  So there’s that.  Now enjoy the Summer and enjoy the foods and gatherings that make it the great season it is.

Now if you want to expand on the basic “affogato” as nature intended it…here’s some ideas, for you boozy adults, a bit of your favorite Liquore, think ones that go well with vanilla and coffee like Amaretto, Fra Angelico, Kaluha….or for the non boozy types some Nutella, Chocolate or Caramel Syrup.  I’ll keep mine gelato and espresso.  Enjoy!!

 

SPUMONI, A GIFT FROM NAPLES, AN IMMIGRANT STORY, AN ITALIAN AMERICAN INVENTION

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  Who doesn’t love an immigrant story…especially one where what’s
been brought from their native country is transplanted into the new country and winds up being more popular today
in the new country than in it’s country of origin.  Americans are many times looked at as newbies in the cultural time-
lines of the world but what Americans have a knack for is holding onto those traditions that their ancestors brought
with them.  I was once told by an Italian that much of what comprises the Italian-American cultural tradition is on
the downswing in Italy and in many cases, America just made what might have been a small regional tradition into
a big deal on this side of the Atlantic.  One such tradition, a food tradition (of course it would be food I’m talking
about) is SPUMONI.  Chances of finding Spumoni all over Italy today would be pretty rare.  Why?  It was never
something that was eaten/made up and down the boot.  It most likely is from the city of Naples, or Napoletana, or
Neapolitan.  Follow this evolution, Spumoni is a frozen dessert, cream with whipped cream added, sort of a
frozen mousse  usually done in three flavors…a chocolate, a vanilla or pistachio, and a cherry..touched with the
flavorings you would find in an Italian Pastry shop..like candided fruits, cherries, pistachios, almonds, rum,,
cinnamon oil, the usual suspects.  The layers are pressed into a mold and it’s frozen, served in slices or scoops.
Remember I said “Neapolitan?  The Ice Cream flavor in the U.S. called Neapolitan which is a mix of vanilla,
chocolate and strawberry takes it’s idea from Spumoni, which comes from Naples.  Interesting stuff.   Here in
the U.S. Spumoni is generally found in the areas with higher Italian Populations.  Of course, whenever I talk my
own childhood history, Staten Island comes into play.  Nearly every spumoni I shoveled into my childhood face was
made at an Ice Cream factory in Staten Island called SEDUTTO’S ICE CREAM.  An immigrant from the area
around Naples,
10965_1151469789308_1304531591_30356921_1242298_nGiuseppe (Joseph) Sedutto immigrated to NYC and worked as a pastry chef in NYC’s fancy hotels
of the day.    Along with his brothers, he began the Sedutto Ice Cream Company in
Staten Island and grew it into a large operation that primarily served hotels, catering halls, and restaurants with
their Italian frozen desserts, like Spumoni, Tortoni, Bombes, plus Ice Cream Cakes, Ice Creams.  Every meal
out or catered affair of my youth ended with a “log” of Spumoni or a paper cup of Tortoni.  I’m going to guess
that the first spumoni that found it’s way passed my lips was Sedutto’s.  Here’s a picture of an actual Sedutto’s
Spumoni from the 1973 Catalog. 
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Seriously, If you have a food memory, the Internet is loaded with proof that you really did remember something
correctly. There is it…my God did I love    when that “log”, actually a slice of Spumoni was served at the end of the
meal.  To this day I love Spumoni.  Unfortunately the Staten Island connection with Spumoni is long gone, the
Sedutto family sold the business to big corporate America and then one day it was gone. The lead picture in this
post still has my hands sticky from eating it.  August 22 is designated as National Spumoni Day, so, off to Ralph’s
Ices (another Staten Island institution who thankfully has a few locations now down here at the Jersey Shore) for
a celebration of Spumoni Day.  That cup in the picture was damn delicious.  Hold on while I take another lick.  Ok,
back to blogging…If you are ever in Brooklyn, the iconic L & B Spumoni Gardens is a place to enjoy a great meal and
their signature Sicilian pizza, finishing the meal off with their Spumoni..
http://www.spumonigardens.com/

Another Spumoni mecca in the United States is Angelo Brocato in New Orleans, on my bucket list…their slice of
Spumoni looks amazing   How beautiful
is that????  20 Angelo-Brocato-New-Orleans
I’ve never made Spumoni, and quite frankly, probably never will, this is one thing that i don’t mind buying out..but, in
True A FOOD OBSESSION style I will give you a recipe, courtesy of Lidia Bastianich, who else??

http://www.lidiasitaly.com/recipes/detail/811

Check that out, make it if you care to, i’ve never used the recipe, so, if it doesn’t come out right, well, that’s my warning,
but Lidia, really…i don’t think you have to worry about using her recipes, I’m comfortable posting it to here for you.

As this August 21, 2014, National Spumoni Day comes to a close I’ll remember  how excited   as a kid I’d get when
we would drive along Richmond Terrace in Port Richmond and pass the Sedutto’s Factory…I knew there was
Spumoni  behind those doors!  006


Another web find…a pic of Sedutto’s Factory in 1953.   Make your delicious memories even more delicious by
creating or finding those foods that were part of your personal history.  It’s why I blog, post, and share.
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